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Buffalo Group Hosts Workshop for At-Risk Youth, Seeks Expansion

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By Staff –

 

gene programRev. Gene Coplin, president of Project L.E.E. Inc., a non-profit ministry dedicated to teaching leadership skills to at-risk youth, hosted a program for young males which featured 101 male mentors, at Buffalo’s Math, Science, and Technology High School recently.

The group presented a diverse group of male speakers to the youth as part of its Wisdom In Troubled Times (W.I.T.T.) program, in an effort to increase graduation rates, and decrease youth violence through workshops in city schools.

Zion Global Ministries Bishop Roderick Hennings; Jeff Carter, the former Chaplain of Attica Prison; and James Lewis III, the director of Trauma Chaplain at ECMC hospital, were presenters at the event.

W.I.T.T. will host a similar event for girls, in March.

“Bishop Roderick gave a historic apology to those boys,” Coplin stated. “He started with an apology, and apologized for all the black fathers that have not been there for those boys. He apologized for the church that may not have been there, and for the society that may not have been there, because, with all the shooting and killing that’s been going on, it’s because either no man has spoken into their lives, or the wrong man has spoken into their lives.”

Coplin said he’s also identified additional student leaders at MST, whom he will train to work as liaisons to the W.I.T.T. program, to reach other at-risk students at the school.

“Those six will now give me an additional 12 students, to get them on board, and I will train those 12, and then the students they bring on, until the entire population of students will be reached,” he stated. “Parents will also be reached as well. Because, once students feel ownership of their school, it’s a game-changer. Then, we can come in as adults, and do what we can, which is going to be intrinsic motivation.”

Coplin is also seeking additional, diverse male mentors, of any race, to participate in the W.I.T.T. program, which he said he’s hoping to expand to nearby areas, including Rochester and Syracuse.

Interested individuals may contact the group at project-lee@hotmail.com, or at 716-906-0375, for additional information regarding the program.

Visit https://vimeo.com/208374491,or click on the image below, to view video from Channel 2 news in Buffalo regarding the group’s event.

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